Mormonism and Reality

This post is belongs to a series of posts on Reality and Mormon theology.

Traditional Christianity, Judaism, and Islam believe that God created reality out of nothing. They believe that a conscious God came first and reality comes second. I will call this belief The Absolutism of God. Since God created reality, he created the laws of reality. Since he created the laws, it is also believed that He could break them or change them to whatever he wishes.

By contrast, the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) asserts that God did not create reality at all. Reality came first and then God came second. More precisely, God is part of reality and is coeternal with all of the constituents of reality including matter (which is interchangeable with energy) and consciousness (Please see D&C 93 and 131). I will call this belief The Absolutism of Reality. In this view objective laws and principles are eternal. God cannot change them, but His perfect understanding of them affords Him great power.

These very basic beliefs—the Absolutism of God or the Absolutism of reality—are metaphysical issues. Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world. Although historically Mormon theology was not derived logically from metaphysics, the metaphysics is logically prior to the theology (Please see The Theological Foundations of the Mormon Religion by LDS scholar Sterling McMurrin.